I was always moved by those military funerals with the three gun volley salute. I thought it was really clever how they fired guns over the grave of someone who had probably been shot. Paying tribute to someone by fetishising the means of their demise has a lovely symmetry to it. It kind of book-ends things if you will. It’s neat.
Keen to emulate this ingenuity, I decided to pay tribute to my late Uncle Stan (who had been run over by joy riding youths) by stealing a hearse and using it to do a series of handbrake skids over his freshly filled grave. The family looked on bewildered as loose earth flew up and hit them in the face. The fact that I got out of the car and played Taps on my Stylophone did little to help matters and everyone had a real attitude about it at the sandwiches and tea part back at the pub. My gesture had gone right over their heads.
Could’ve been worse I suppose. What if Stan died of cancer? What could I have done then? Sprinkle tumours on his tombstone? That’d be a tall order. Jesus, it could have been even worse than that. Imagine if Stan had been savaged by wolves. There would’ve been carnage at the burial. People being chased all over the graveyard. Screams and howls. Hmm, maybe it isn’t an appropriate approach after all.